Dynamic Donkey

Mikhail Maslov details the birth of the revolutionary Polikarpov I-16, and its combat service in Soviet hands

Squadrons equipped with the I-16 were considered highly combat capable and reliable. KEY COLLECTION

Like many Soviet aeroplanes of the era, the Polikarpov I-16’s conception and design were conducted under incarceration – and the relentless eye of the State. Following his initial failure to create a new fighter blueprint, aircraft designer Nikolai Polikarpov was abruptly jailed and ordered to conceive the superior product demanded by Premier Joseph Stalin.

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